There Is Nothing Wrong About “Turning Red”

Disney Pixar’s new film “Turning Red” does not deserve any backlash.


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Sean O’Connell comments his opinion about “Turning Red” on Twitter

Cecilia Cheng, A&E Editor

Disney Pixar recently came out with “Turning Red”, which focuses on Meilin Lee, a 13-year-old Chinese, Canadian girl, who can turn into a giant red panda every time she is overwhelmed with her emotions, and her journey as she tries to navigate puberty.

But even though it’s only been less than two weeks since the movie came out, “Turning Red” has received a lot of negative criticism that it does not deserve at all. Not only does this movie cover topics that are rarely talked about in Hollywood, like generational trauma, it also shows the younger and even adult audience what it’s like to grow up under the constant pressure of being perfect. People need to understand that this film is shining light on these serious topics and that there is nothing wrong with it.

Now as an Asian American, I have never gotten so connected to a movie. I mean I cried myself to bed that night. Some of my friends even said that I’m Meilin Lee 2.0 (which I don’t completely disagree with). But getting back to my point, there has been nonstop backlash about this movie, especially from caucasian mothers.

They claim that this movie is not suitable for children, claiming it to be “inappropriate”, as it contains some profanity and violent scenes. First of all, children already are exposed to this through social media platforms. These parents are now saying how Pixar is promoting that it’s good to disobey your parents. But in reality, this movie uses this to bring out a good message, they never meant to do any harm.  “Turning Red” shows kids that it’s okay to be different and to become your person and that no one is perfect.

For once, a coming-of-age story finally includes more realistic things that teenage girls experience like periods. And people were disappointed and ashamed that this was included in the movie. Periods are a thing that every woman goes through and I believe that we should be proud of it. Girls now can start their periods as early as the age of eight. Parents are saying they don’t want to expose this material to children at such a young age, which is respectable But, if we are already talking down about this in such a negative way to younger girls, wouldn’t they just be more afraid and embarrassed by it when they do get it? What if they don’t even know what to do?

Moving on to two of the most important points of the movie: generational trauma for immigrant families and mother-daughter relationships. I feel like this personally struck out to me because my mother and I have never had the best relationship and also as someone coming from an immigrant family, I too, constantly feel the pressure of being perfect. I think this film is a wonderful depiction of what happens when they put a child in millions of activities they don’t even enjoy doing. As we grow up, parents need to learn to let go of their child’s hand. Additionally, studies even show that kids with strict parents are more rebellious.

“Turning Red” should not be receiving such negative reviews and comments for covering such serious topics. Never in my life have I seen such representation in animation. Not to mention, the film’s director, Domee Shi, was the first woman to solely direct a film in the Pixar studio. This is a huge accomplishment, especially for an Asian-Canadian woman and we should be celebrating instead of putting her down. But also, we need to focus on the bigger picture and see how much this film can positively impact the future generation.